Pointlessly Cruel

by forbloodysummer

Chapter 1: How Sunset Found Love


She was perfect. Flash knew it from the moment he set eyes on her. Her wide eyes and eager smile, her multihued hair and adorably awkward outfit, her generic height and body shape, the whole lot. And she was perfect for him, too. They were always bumping into each other, because they both loved going to all the same places. And they had so much in common! He played guitar, she sang; he want to Canterlot High, so did she for a few days.

And she’d let him play guitar over her final chorus, and not even mentioned it when he’d just played the same lick twice as it was the only one he could play in that key, or how his first solo had been just two notes. And she’d danced to his band and then with him, and let him know that she might have said no but didn’t really mean it, which was cool as it meant they’d never have any misunderstandings further down the line. Why couldn’t they teach all girls to be that cool about it? He loved everything about her.

It was like it was fate, or destiny, or some other nebulous concept of predestination that Flash hadn’t really thought through and had just fallen back on as a lazy cliché without considering how far-reaching its implications were if true. Everything happened for a reason, and he and Twilight were obviously meant to be.


But if that were the case – and he knew it was – then why were they now in two separate worlds? What kind of pointlessly cruel universe would create such perfect partners, introduce them to each other, and then banish them to different dimensions for the rest of forever? How could that be fair? He was condemned to know that she was out there, feeling just the same way about him as he did about her, but always out of reach.

He’d find a way to get to her, of course. That was why he was standing outside the front of CHS, staring at the Wondercolt statue, after everyone else had gone home for the night. Somewhere behind him, he could hear Sunset Shimmer grunting away as she tried to cement the school back together brick by brick. But the wall of the statue was even more solid. Just cold, smooth stone. How could he even know where to begin, when it came to getting Twilight back?

Twilight had talked about magic after she’d beaten Sunset, and what she’d said implied it wasn’t to be found in Flash’s world. So there’d be nothing he could use to unlock the statue portal. No reference books to research it with. No way back to her. He was just a skinny guy in a suit with artfully messy hair, and the love of his life was trapped in a parallel world on the opposite side of the same wall. Hadn’t he seen that in Doctor Who somewhere?


So maybe it was hopeless. Maybe that was it. He’d never see her again and nothing in the world could change that. He’d be alone for the rest of his life, because no one else could ever compare to her, or live up to the perfect vision of what he imagined she’d be like for which he had no actual basis because he’d spent only a few minutes with her in total. All that he’d really got out of meeting her, from that perspective, was the knowledge that he’d never be happy again. What kind of pointlessly cruel universe, indeed?

He hadn’t asked for it. Hadn’t requested a vision of perfection he couldn’t touch. Didn’t deserve being shackled to a miserable future. He’d just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. She’d meant to be there, though. And she’d known about the time limit all along, and still flirted with him and stolen his heart. Had she truly felt the same, if she knew in advance that it couldn’t last? Had she just been toying with him? Would she even miss him, waking up tomorrow to a life without him, or just get on with her day as she would otherwise, not sparing him even a stray thought?

Her fault. It was her fault. Maybe she’d acted without thinking how it would affect him when she left, or maybe she just collected broken hearts for fun. How many others did she already own? And why had she chosen him? He was just a guy. Just a normal, average guy that you might expect to find in a high school, generally amiable with few distinctive personality traits, and a far-from-unique hobby as a one-dimensional appeal to coolness. Had he done something she thought worth punishing?


That did it. He wasn’t going to play by her rules any longer. If she chose to treat him so callously, then he’d respond in kind. He had to get free of her, and the quickest way to do that was to find someone else to distract him. Some new green shoots to push through the frozen brambles Twilight had wrapped his emotions in. And the sooner he could start, the better, because a night alone at home would be nothing but misery. But everyone had already left and–

A particularly loud grunt came from a way behind him. Or had it been a sob?


Turning on his heel, Flash saw Sunset slotting a brick into place on the wall she was building, patting it down into the cement. He couldn’t make out much detail from that distance at night, but she looked worn out, judging by how she slumped. After a moment’s hesitation, he shifted his legs into gear and walked over to her.

Who better to get back at Twilight with than her rival? Or, would that be making it still about her, rather than escaping from her hold on him? Either way, Sunset would be like a microwave meal, he just had to say a few things and she’d be right there. Just the distraction he needed.

Flash wandered up the steps to the CHS front entrance, or what was left of it. Sunset had done a pretty good job, from what he could see, but there was a long way still to go. Snips and Snails were nowhere to be seen, of course, having disappeared long before.

“Sunset,” he said, by way of announcing his presence, as she hadn’t seen him coming. She jumped at the sound of his voice, and when she turned to look at him he saw the tears in her eyes. Everything about her was a state: bruised, tattered and caked in dirt. Though from the lighter lines running down her cheeks, he guessed she hadn’t stopped crying in hours.

“Wanna swing by mine when you’re done here?” he asked. “Clean yourself up a bit first, maybe.”

Sunset’s whole face probably lit up or something. Flash didn’t see, having already turned away to head off. He heard her choke on tears as she answered, though.

“...Y-you really wanna see m-me? After everything I’ve done?”

Bits of you, he thought.

Already striding off towards his car, determined not to look in the direction of the horse statue or bothering to glance back at her, he called, “You’ll do.”

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